Five Questions to Ask If You Have Thirsty Turf
Question: What is the latest knowledge on wetting agents?
Answer: It has long been known that wetting agents break down due to microbe activity. Rather than the traditional program approach of so much wetting agent per month. Superintendents are experimenting with varying rates and combinations based on the weather. Then they are applying every week or two weeks at a lighter rate. By the time they get to their next application the previous one has been degraded by the microbes and it is like starting over. This enhanced flexibility is allowing superintendents to dial in their water management.
Question: The words penetrant and retainer are used frequently, what do these mean?
Answer: Penetrants are a technology that moves water from the surface down into the soil. Think of them as a ladder in the thatch that allows water to move from the surface down into the soil. Penetrants do not really have the ability to hold water. Retainers bind to material in the soil and have attachment point for water. Think of them like a claw that grabs water as it goes by.
Question: Why do some products seem to do both things?
Answer: Several products on the market are blends of penetrant and retention technology. This allows these products to move both water off the soil surface and retain water.
Question: It’s the heat of the season and I have localized dry spots. What do I do?
Answer: Take a look at one of the combination products or make your own by applying a penetrant and retainer together. The combination of these two technologies will help water move off the surface and into the soil - then hold water in the soil.
Question: What about pellets or tablets?
Answer: These can be effective when there are specific spots you are trying to target. If you are using these on a localized dry spot make sure the pellet or tablet has some retention capability or come back over the localized dry spot with a spray application of a retention wetting agent.
For more information on managing your turf, contact your local WinField expert
This week, we decided to gather some of the most frequently asked questions about wetting agents and have one of our industry experts provide the answers.
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